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This crazy alien horizon is actually a real sunrise on Earth

It may look like some kind of alien landscape, but this photo shows a super-rare combination of solar phenomena happening right here on Earth.

Photographed in Red River, New Mexico, on January 9, this is one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen.

While it looks photoshopped (or alien), in reality, the combination of arcs and halos is caused by an extremely rare combination of solar phenomena happening all at once. 

The image was captured by Joshua Thomas who emailed the US National Weather Service (NWS) in Texas to find out what was going on.

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Huge circle in Antarctic ice hints at meteorite impact

During a routine flight over the Antarctic ice shelf on 20 December last year, geophysicist Christian Müller spotted something strange: a huge, 2-kilometre-wide circle on the ice.

Müller, a contractor with research consultants Fielax from Bremerhaven, Germany, was in Antarctica as part of a polar survey conducted by the German Alfred Wegener Institute. Six days after spotting the weird ice-ring, he and his colleagues returned and flew over the site at two different altitudes, to photograph and scan it. Their working theory is that the ring marks an ice crater left by a large meteorite that slammed into Antarctica in 2004.

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Parallel Worlds Exist and Interact with Each Other, New Theory Says

The idea of parallel worlds is one of the more favorite topics of science fiction writers, but also a popular subject of interest for many researchers. If you watched the Fringe series, you will remember that there were two simultaneously existing versions of the same world with slight differences between them. It seems that something like this could be possible, according to a new quantum theory.

A group of Australian and US physicists suggests that there may exist multiple versions of our universe, which can interact with each other on a quantum level. Dr. Howard Wiseman and Dr. Michael Hall of Griffith University in Australia, together with Dr. Dirk-Andre Deckert from the University of California, published their so-called “Many Interacting Worlds” (MIW) theory in the journal Physical Review X.

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Fracking caused Ohio earthquake in 2014, say researchers

Controversial gas exploration technique linked to 3.0 magnitude earthquake that shook US state in March

Fracking was responsible for an earthquake felt by Ohio residents in March 2014, a study has found.

Hydaulic fracturing near the Poland Township activated a previously unknown fault in the earth, say scientists, who identified 77 earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 1.0 to 3.0 between March 4 and 12.

The strongest earthquake was unusual because it could be felt by people living in the area, revealed the research, published online in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

“These earthquakes near Poland Township occurred in the Precambrian basement, a very old layer of rock where there are likely to be many pre-existing faults,” said Robert Skoumal, co-author of the study.

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Comet Lovejoy is putting on a spectacular show — and here’s the best way to see it

The first 2015 comet visible to the naked eye can be seen streaking across the sky for most of January, Slate‘s Phil Plait reports.

The comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) will reach its peak visibility on January 7, when it passes about 44 million miles from Earth. It will also be easy to locate, as it will begin its journey across the sky near the foot of the constellation Orion and continue through Taurus and Aries.

The optimal viewing time, Plait wrote, is after 9 p.m. local time, when the comet will be high above the horizon. But as the month progresses and the moon wanes, it should be visible even earlier — and be bright enough even to be seen with the naked eye even in cities with low- to moderate levels of light pollution.

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Land Bridge Gives Animals Right of Way on Roads

When humans build new roads or expand existing ones, they tend to intrude on animal habitats. The animal-vehicle collisions that result typically end with the loss of animal life. They also threaten human safety and cost money to clean up after: animal removal, car repair, hospital bills, etc.

Now, engineers at the University of Montana are working to mitigate the impact of roads on wildlife by building overpasses and underpasses that give a variety of animals the freedom to move safely and at will.

The project began after the Montana Department of Transportation approached the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes with a proposal to widen U.S. Highway 93 where it bisects the Flathead Indian Reservation. To preserve the spirit of the land, the tribes insisted that animal life be protected.

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Curiosity rover finds active, ancient organic chemistry on Mars

(—NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory's drill.

"This temporary increase in methane—sharply up and then back down—tells us there must be some relatively localized source," said Sushil Atreya of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Curiosity rover science team. "There are many possible sources, biological or non-biological, such as interaction of water and rock."

Researchers used Curiosity's onboard Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory a dozen times in a 20-month period to sniff methane in the atmosphere. During two of those months, in late 2013 and early 2014, four measurements averaged seven parts per billion. Before and after that, readings averaged only one-tenth that level.

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Nasa just emailed a wrench to space

When International Space Station commander Barry Wilmore needed a wrench, Nasa knew just what to do. They "emailed" him one. This is the first time an object has been designed on Earth and then transmitted to space for manufacture.

Made In Space, the California company that designed the 3D printer aboard the ISS, overheard Wilmore mentioning the need for a ratcheting socket wrench and decided to create one. Previously, if an astronaut needed a specific tool it would have to be flown up on the next mission to the ISS, which could take months.

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Birds detect approaching storm from 900km away

A group of songbirds may have avoided a devastating storm by fleeing their US breeding grounds after detecting telltale infrasound waves.

Researchers noticed the behaviour after analysing trackers attached to the birds to study their migration patterns. They believe it is the first documented case of birds making detours to avoid destructive weather systems on the basis of infrasound.

The golden-winged warblers had just returned from South America to their breeding grounds in the mountains of Tennessee in 2013 when a massive storm was edging closer. Although the birds had just completed a migration of more than 2,500km, they still had the energy to evade the danger.

The storm, which spawned more than 80 tornadoes across the US and killed 35 people, was 900km away when the birds, apparently acting independently of one another, fled south, with one bird embarking on a 1,500km flight to Cuba before making the return trip once the storm had passed.

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Curiosity Rover Drills Into Mars Rock, Finds Water & First Organic Molecules

NASA's Curiosity rover is continuing to help scientists piece together the mystery of how Mars lost its surface water over the course of billions of years.

The rover drilled into a piece of Martian rock called Cumberland and found some ancient water hidden within it. Researchers were then able to test a key ratio in the water with Curiosity's onboard instruments to gather more data about when Mars started to lose its water, NASA officials said. In the same sample, Curiosity also detected the first organic molecules it has found. Mission scientists announced the discovery in a news conference today (Dec. 15) at the American Geophysical Union's convention in San Francisco, where they also unveiled Curiosity's first detection of methane on Mars.


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